It's been a long time coming, but the Bank of England has finally revealed the design of the polymer note on the 200th anniversary of her death in 1817. It will be formally unveiled this afternoon at Winchester Cathedral, where Austen is buried.
The note will feature a portrait of Austen with a calm expression, plump cheeks and a stereotypically "pretty" face, based on a portrait commissioned after she died at age 41. However, the portrait caused controversy in May after historians and campaigners described it as an "airbrushed" version of her face.
Critics claimed the Bank of England should have based the note on a more realistic sketch of the novelist drawn by her sister Cassandra while she was alive, which depicts a more assertive expression, thinner lips, a pointed chin, and bags under her eyes.
The new note also includes a quote from Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice: "I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!"
The £10 note should be available for use from September, along with a limited supply of £2 coins featuring the author's framed silhouette, the BBC reported. The coins will only be available in locations with links to Austen – Winchester and Basingstoke at first, including Winchester Cathedral and the Jane Austen House Museum, and will be rolled out across the UK later in the year.
There are also plans to introduce a new polymer £20 note into circulation by 2020, but the existing £50 note looks set to stay as it was only released in 2011, reported the BBC.
Vegans, vegetarians and some religious groups will likely take issue with the fact that the £10 note is made from the same material as the new £5 note, launched last September, which contains traces of animal fat in the form of tallow, a fatty substance derived from beef or mutton.
A petition urging the Bank of England to ban the note garnered nearly 140,000 signatures, but the bank announced in February that it wouldn't be withdrawing or even reformulating the note, despite the mass outcry suggesting it's an issue that a large segment of the population cares about.